I know I said I was going to wait until Christmas BUT Tilly said she wanted to dress up for Halloween as Red from Hoodwinked. Then said ‘I don’t have a red hood, but that’s ok – I can still do it, I can just pretend’ and it tugged at my heartstrings that she didn’t ask for one or ask me to buy her one and so I folded like a cheap suit.

This pattern is from Oliver + S‘s book Little Things to Sew and it is gorgeous – it’s easy to sew and turns out beautifully, highly recommended even for people that are just starting out 🙂

I did it all in quilters cotton (as it’s pretty hot up here 😉 ) and it turned out beautifully – the lining is a forest print, I kind of like the idea of Red Riding Hood taking the forest wherever she goes…. and I used a gorgeous green and gold vintage button to finish it perfectly…….

Here it is…..


I bags swimming

Miles’s Prep class (kindy if you’re in NSW) swimming started today – so Miles needed a swim bag. I whipped one up on the weekend – just a simple flat bottomed drawstring in some cool jet fabric that had been hanging out in my stash waiting for Miles to have a need 🙂

You know those Oh so trendy(!) lanyard attached plastic sleeves that display your name and company at every conference you go to? I put one to use with a little velcro so I can remove it for washing. It included his name and class but also listed everything that needed to go back in the bag after every swim class to ensure we’re not missing a pair of goggles or cap after week 1:) The idea was based on this awesome product 🙂

Unfortunately no swimming photos but he had a ball!

So, what have you been making lately? or have you just been swimming……

bikes, craft and kids – nothing new here!

The good thing about leaving blogging for ages is that you end up with so much to say! Where to start? Let’s go with quick family catch up with a biking and crafty edge – would you expect anything else?!

Well, everyone else had a birthday, we went to Sydney, back home to busytown and things are almost normal once again.

Miles got his road bike for his big sixth birthday – he loves it 🙂 We bought it second hand and The Daddy blinged it with some green bar tape and a new green computer for the Cavendish fan.

Both kids have also started bike commuting to school when we can ride with them which is super dooper awesome, not too many just turned four year olds ride 9kms a day 🙂

For Tilly’s birthday I used her ‘Big Bad Wolf’ obsession to my advantage. Tilly loves anything to do with The Big Bad Wolf, reads books about wolves and watches the original 1930’s Disney Three Little Pigs incessantly. The good thing is her dad told her that Big Bad Wolves only live in Germany (with Jens) so she’s not scared they’ll turn up here…. unfortunately she also told her day care class that the other day….. ooops! 🙂

I made her some not so little friends. It took a while until she’d let the wolf stay in her room at night but she loved cuddling the pigs and they’re all sleeping with her now.

All are from The Big Book of Softies which was a gift to me from the family for my last birthday.

Lately she’s found a new obsession with Little Red Riding Hood – particularly the movie ‘Hoodwinked’ and I found the gorgeous Oliver and S book ‘Little Things To Sew‘ which includes a pattern for a Red Hood, so I think that’ll be under the tree at Christmas time. shhhh don’t tell Tilly!

Second hand bike and home made pigs? Thrifty and perfect 🙂

Lastly to leave you with a giggle, if you’re a funk fan and remember the old Commodores classic ‘Brick House‘ then check out Tilly’s new version complete with Smurfs bum wiggle dance and backing vocals from her brother….

It’s a Brick House – it’s mighty mighty to keep the wolfies out!’

Breaking the seal

I spend a lot of time avoiding the inevitable. The stories other mums have told me – like the fact that their toddler only agrees to wear pyjamas to daycare or a strange addiction to toothpaste where the parents unwittingly become the enablers. They sound like the exception but no, they’re closer than you think! After all – look at what my daughter wore to school drop off.

I know it’s a gorgeous Barbie princess dress, I know she loved it, I know in the big scheme of things it doesn’t matter and I know that I told her father only to fight the battles worth fighting BUT STILL – the day he let her wear this broke the seal.

You know – the seal? back in the day when you’d go drinking and put off as long as possible going to the loo because once you’d broken the seal you’d be back there be every 10 minutes? That dress up was it – I had never let her wear one before but it only takes once for it to be ‘always!’. ‘BUT MAMA, daddy ALWAYS lets us use playdoh in the loungeroom’, ‘BUT MAMA! I’m ALWAYS allowed to use your lipstick’, ‘BUT MAMA, I’m ALWAYS allowed to watch soft core porn after 8.30 on SBS’….. well, maybe not – but you get my drift….

I kept Ben 10 out of the house for 5 years, Nintendo DS out for 5 and a half!! But give me a fairy dress and it’s clearly my kryptonite. Am I drinking more or is it getting harder to maintain the seal? How are you going with it?

Beautiful and Wild

Numerous viruses have booked accommodation at our house lately – it’s important that we not all catch the same one, I mean variety is the spice of life right?

On the weekend I was too sick to go riding with the kids, but my lovely 3yr old girl came home with a bunch of wild flowers that she’d picked for me to make me feel better.

Most beautiful bunch of flowers I’ve ever been given, as wild and beautiful as she is. Thank you Tilly xxx

Brisbane Still…

I drove for three hours in the car today. There was no one else there. No children. No DVDs playing in the back seat. No requests for someone else’s music. No fighting. Silence.

Well – not really silence. My iPhone 4 failed to bring my music across from my 3 so as I was racing out the door I grabbed a random handful of vintage CDs from a deep dark box – remember CD’s? Yeah – I thought not 😉 Triple J’s Hottest 100 Volume 10 brought back this gem. Which I got to play as many times as I liked (just a few!). it’s nice to be in love with a song all over again! It also reminded me of our pre little people days, hanging out with friends, drinking beer, playing music in the lounge room at parties and never imagining that this wouldn’t be forever….

As much as I love Brisbane, this song made me miss Sydney. So for now I’m in Brisbane still but if I ever come home and I, I think I will I hope you’re gonna wanna hang at my place on Sunday still…..

Oh Hai!

I feel like the very cranky bear who went into hibernation and didn’t want to share his cave. I’m bloody cold, and I’m hiding and I don’t want to come out. Well, I didn’t want to come out – now I’m almost ready but not sure how to step back into the sunshine….

I feel like I now know why so many ‘mummy bloggers’ have at times put their blogs on hold or stopped all together. I love my blog but found the needs of family becoming more and more important, I also found that the times I wanted to blog were when I was feeling really negative and who wants to hear all that?! I can say that my house is cleaner, everyone has lots more clothes in their wardrobes (rather than on the floor!), the garden looks better and is producing actual edible food! I’ve been reading a real, live book with ink and pages and everything that wasn’t instructional. Most importantly my kids remember what it’s like just to hang out with mama. We even all managed to enjoy the Tour de France together – more on that soon I hope! I have sewed, I have cooked, I have coffee’d, I have helped out at the school and I have remembered what it’s like to sometimes see the world away from a keyboard and an iPhone screen.

Am I renewed, rejuvenated and ready to return? I don’t know. I know that I miss many other amazing blogs that I haven’t been reading. I know that I have things to say – that I’d like to share. I know that with less pressure, or feeling the need to blog all the time I might just do it more – or less – or better – or not at all! Maybe a few words one day, just a picture another, maybe just touching base…. that sounds nice – for now. It might not be a long phone call – we may have to just make do with a text every now and again. I’ll send the first one…..

danger. loss. love. respect. cycling

Anyone who reads this blog will know this family’s love of Cycling – well mainly The Daddy and 5yr old Miles but that obsession can’t help but permeate the rest of the family to some extent. At the moment there is a major tour event in Italy called The Giro d’Italia we’ve been watching as much as SBS screens and catching up on the highlights, rejoicing when Miles’ favourite sprinter Mark Cavendish is in the leaders jersey (Tilly loves it cause it’s PINK!) and looking forward to each next stage.

Earlier this week a young 26yr old rider for Leopard Trek died in a tragic accident on stage 3. Wouter Weylandt was on a fast decent when his pedal touched the fence and he was flipped over it to plunge 20 meters – he died instantly. The journalistic tributes paint Wouter was a talented young rider who, in a tragic irony, won the third stage in last years Giro. I don’t know very much about professional cycling so I don’t have a huge insight to add to the copious sports commentary that has covered the accident, but I felt a little like I experienced it from a different perspective. As a mother I can’t help but relate it to how I’d feel if it were Miles, as I know that at the moment professional cycling is his dream. Parents should not be burying their child ever and at 26 he was only just starting to live. Wouter’s wife was pregnant with their first child, due in September, and I think about her and her immense grief, wondering how she’s going to get through these next weeks, months and years. The rest of the pregnancy, the birth and the late awake hours, who’s hand will go on her belly when the baby rolls, who will cut the cord after her labour, who will hold the camera when the little one takes it’s first steps to mum. How do you relate the desperate loneliness of living without your partner with the immense joy of seeing that same person mirrored in the features of your child.

While all of these thoughts are tumbling around this tragedy I watched a sport salute a fellow rider. In the next race of the Giro the riders took a minute silence and then the race was neutralised meaning that no team raced. Each team took 10kms at the front to the peloton riding but not racing to the finish line. The race route was lined with spectators – the coverage said ‘polite applause’ but I saw it as more than that – people were clapping their sadness for the loss of Wouter and support for the riders who were saluting him, it reminded me greatly of a funeral procession and what more appropriate way to say goodbye? The final part of the ride was led by his Leopard Trek team mates and his best friend and fellow rider Tyler Farrar, watching the peloton drop back to give his team mates space and focus brought the tears for me, it was amazing to watch and the boys all crossed the finish line arm in arm. The prize money from the stage was donated to Wouter’s family. The Leopard Trek team and Tyler Farrar then chose to discontinue the tour.

As I watched the coverage I thought about other sports that have lost athletes, and while a minute’s silence is common I can’t imagine a Formula 1 race not being contested or an international tennis round not completed in honour of a lost sportsman. To not contest a race and yet to ride in honour of Wouter showed to me a solidarity within the sport and a respect that each of the riders has for each other. While many might expect that a tribute such as this would be understandable if say it were the loss of a Lance Armstrong, I LOVE that it was as important to the sport and the cyclists the loss of a friend, team mate and young talent.

To the sport of professional cycling I would like to say – you have many detractors, but this week I was so proud of you. You have outdone yourselves and the respect you’ve shown to Wouter Weylandt and his family is incredible. Well done.